Today, I have the privilege of sharing with you an interview I did with Steve Lebel, author of The Universe Builders.
As always, my questions are in bold, answers in regular text.
What inspired you to create a humorous account of world-creation?
The idea started back when I was in college. Someone was having a bad day and joked that God must have gotten a C- in Universe Building 101. The idea struck me as very funny. It meant God had friends, family, and probably all the other concerns and frustrations everyone else does in our daily lives. It also suggested that if the gods built universes, some of them were probably not as good at it as others. The idea of a semi-competent god with the power to create just had to be written.
What was your favorite part of The Universe Builders to write?
I enjoyed almost everything. Probably the most fun was writing about Sissy, Lenny’s little luck charm. It was great fun to force him to change his mind about things he ‘knew’ were true. And, of course, the tiny eyes were a lot of fun, too.
You mentioned in another interview that Terry Pratchett was one of your favorite authors; which book of his is your favorite?
It has to be The Color of Magic, which was the first in the diskworld series. It was so different and so mind-blowing, it will always be my favorite. I also loved Small Gods, which was (I think), one of his most cleverly crafted works.
Are there any other humorous sci-fi/fantasy authors that you love?
There are a lot of them, actually. I loved The Stainless Steel Rat series by Harry Harrison. I also loved the Myth books, beginning with Another Fine Myth, by Robert Aspirin.
Do you agree with this statement from Terry Pratchett? “If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you.”
No, I don’t agree with that. I have always found people fascinating and I love to talk to everyone. They all have a story to tell if we just take the time to listen.
The Universe Builders seems like it would make a really fun movie. Have you ever thought about whatactors/actresses you would love to see in the movie?
A young Jimmy Stewart would make a good Bernie. (Remember him in Harvey? Imagine him talking to Bernie’s cloud.) Liberace might be good for Bernie’s dad. Morgan Freeman gets to be the narrator.
Do you have a special writing spot where you do your best work?
I have a home office that is excellent for writing. It has a window that looks out onto a lagoon in the back yard. If I get stuck with too many ideas, I grab all my things and take a ‘library day’. Just sitting and wandering around the stacks seems to clear my head and get me ready to work again.
If you were to create your own planet, what would it look like?
There are so many great choices. It would definitely have several moons. And the Aurora Borealis would extend everywhere. And if I could figure out how to do it, we would all have wings. (I just love flying.) There would also be a lot of lakes, rivers, and canals.
Is there any particular thought you hope to leave readers with after reading your book?
People ask me if there is any message hidden in the book. Usually, they are asking about religious messages. The answer is no. There is no message there (at least not from me); the book is just supposed to be fun and funny. There are certainly some life lessons the characters learn along the way. The person who grows the most, of course, is Bernie. One of my reviewers called it a ‘coming of age’ book because Bernie grows so much. I like that.
What is the future for The Universe Builders? Do you have any other projects in the works?
I can’t wait to start writing again. The last few months have been all about editing, formatting, publishing, and marketing. I hope to begin writing by the end of August.
The first project will be to finish a short story about a younger Bernie. In the story, a young girl is lost in the woods surrounding the town where the gods live. They are desperate to get her back, but they are deeply afraid of the woods. Bernie, having grown up there, wants to help because he isn’t afraid. His offer to help is rebuffed, but he decides to try anyway.
I also am eager to start another book. It will be a continuation of The Universe Builders and will focus on Bernie’s new role as a Trouble-Shooter for The Business.
Is there anything else you would like to tell Daily Mayo readers?
I hope you enjoy reading The Universe Builders as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please visit the website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We have a lot more great adventures in store for our young god and his friends.
I love hearing from readers, so please do so.
If you’re interested in connecting with Steve, here is where you can do so:
Book Site: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com
Book Trailer: www.TheUniverseBuilders.com/trailer
Thanks so much Steve for taking the time to answer my questions! And if you have a question for Steve, drop it in the comment section below! I’m sure he would be happy to answer you.
More Author Interviews at Daily Mayo